Scotscraig – Worthy Neighbor
Scotscraig is the thirteenth oldest golf club in the world and closely connected to the legendary St Andrews of Scotland in many ways. It was founded in1817 by the St Andrews Society of Golfers which was later known as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Scotscraig is located in Tayport, Fife and is only 15minutes from the famous Old Course at St Andrews. Even the lands of the Scotscraig Golf Club have always been closely connected with St Andrews. It is a matter of great pride that in 1818, for the first time the Gold Medal was first played at Scotscraig.
The design of the course was changed in 1923 with the help of James Braid. Even today the course has many of the traditional architectural features for which Braid is well known. It is typically characterized by large rolling greens and well-positioned bunkers lying in wait of any stray shots. Scotscraig is more or less unchanged even today and poses a serious challenge to all golfers. Since 1984, whenever the Open has been played at St. Andrews, Scotscraig with its 6669 yard par 71 championship tees has hosted the final Open Qualifying.
The course is not actually adjacent to the coast but the sea breeze definitely comes into play here. Playing at Scotscraig is more a test of accuracy rather than length; a lot of advance thought and planning needs to go into one’s game to be able to conquer it. As a course it is more heathland than links, with plenty of heather and gorse as well as plantations of conifers around to make the ball disappear after a wayward shot.
The links offers several holes that are quite intriguing but are memorable. The par 4, fourth hole is only 366 yards but with a revetted bunker on the left of the fairway and heather on the right one needs skill to overcome it. A small plateau green can only be attacked by a well positioned shot. The 14th is a long 523 yard par 5 which calls for precise positioning to make it to the well-guarded green. Scotscraig offers players of all levels an enjoyable challenge.